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Aidan Gillen has accidentally become part of a bizarre 'alt-right meme'

You what now?

LAST WEEK, BUZZFEED published a story about how Trump supporters and members of the alt-right infiltrated Shia LaBeouf’s anti-Trump protests in New York.

Contained in the story was a rather surprising revelation relating to one of Ireland’s favourite actors Aidan Gillen.

It seems that Aidan Gillen is “a meme among the alt-right”.

Somehow not the craziest sentence we’ve read in 2017, but it’s up there.

Over the past few years, Gillen has come to represent a phenomenon known as ‘baneposting’.

Baneposting is a type of trolling that originated on the message board website 4chan. Here’s how Buzzfeed explains it:

There’s a concept called “Baneposting” where trolls fill comment sections with references to a line spoken by Tom Hardy’s character, Bane, to Aidan Gillen’s character during the opening scene of The Dark Knight Rises. 4chan is so enamored with it that they once attempted to crowdsource a letter to Aidan Gillen in 2014.

As you may or may not remember, Aidan Gillen plays a CIA agent in The Dark Knight Rises.

Source: bestpartsmedia/YouTube

In the scene, Gillen’s character is seen explaining to three hooded men that the first one to talk gets to stay on the plane. One of the men in question is Bane, played by Tom Hardy.

The scene contains this exchange:

yiur Source: Know Your Meme

According to Know Your Meme, the meaning of those last two lines became a source of contention on 4chan back in 2011.

Soon, commenters in the thread began scrutinizing the last two lines in the dialogue, as some misinterpreted Bane’s interspersed quote “[it would be extremely painful] …for you” as a double-entendre with suggestive connotations, i.e., “[I’m a big guy] …for you.”

And soon a meme was born.

In 2014, Tom Hardy participated in a Q&A on Reddit to promote his film Locke. 4chan users took it upon themselves to bombard him with questions about what the lines mean.

And like a gent, Tom replied.

th Source: Reddit

From there, it took on a new lease of life with multiple parodies of the scene popping up on YouTube.

Including this inevitable Smashmouth/Dark Knight Rises mash-up.

Source: kekallday/YouTube

It became such a ~thing~ that a screenshot of Aidan Gillen’s arse is now the second most reposted image on 4chan.

sg Source: 4plebs

And now, people sometimes post the sentence, “You’re a big guy” apropos of nothing.

Last week, people showed up to troll Shia LaBeouf’s He Will Not Divide Us protest. (You may have seen reports about LaBeouf being arrested for allegedly attacking a man who uttered pro-Hitler statements to him.)

Some who showed up were dressed as Aidan Gillen’s character from The Dark Knight Rises and reenacted the scene on the livestream.

According to Buzzfeed, this man whispered “shadilay” into the camera. Shadilay is a song by Italian band P.E.P.E, which has been embraced by 4chan as both the album artwork and band name bear a resemblance to Pepe The Frog. (Complicated, we know.)

The internet, man.

It’s exhausting.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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